A Belated Christmas And Happy New Year

I’m up at my uncles and the internet connection is very very patchy, hence me not blogging since my

Aftercare visit

So the next day after that, i did a talk, and we headed up to my uncles on that Wednesday. We’ve had a wonderful time, and what has been really good is that for the past week, my uncle has been out and about wanting to go for a walk each day, and even took me and Ushi for a run on Monday. I love how much she benifits him. This coming from someone who found it very hard to get out and about at all but he has been having quite a good spell with his depression which is good. Unfortunately i did catch a pretty nasty cold, but it’s nearly gone now, and just lingers every so often.

We got my uncle a blue ray player which to say he loves, would be a huge huge understatement.

I’m not going to bother doing a review of the year, as frankly we are up here until the 7th of January or so, and also since the connection is so glitchy, it would just take far too long. This year has been mostly good, but the odd bad points like everyone has. I am hopefully getting a dongle for the internet up here so hopefully that’ll help with the connection as we’re using my sisters phone to provide the internet.

I hope everyone has a safe, healthy and happy new year. I have no idea what next year will bring. I will just see what life throws at me.

Oh and i’ll try replying to comments if i can, but don’t bank on it. Take care all, and see you at some point in the new year!

Grand For Another Year

Today was my regular aftercare. This is where the trainers/instructors come out to see us and make sure we are working well.


I was rather nervous since i’ve mentioned here that Ushi is 35 kilos. She should really be about 30, but i haven’t been able to get it off her, even though i’m working her twice a day, and cutting food down if she has got a free run. Thank god it was the instructor who was coming who trained with me and Ushi, and not the instructor that is for our area.


So the instructor rang me at about 20 to three. I decided to go for coffee and then we could discuss any issues i was having and also look at Ushi’s health book. We had some stops but there was no reason why she was stopping. She was just playing up a bit.


The instructor had a long chat with me about everything and anything, before discussing Ushi. She said how proud she was with me and Ushi, and that we seemed like a really well gelled partnership. I said about how she sticks at one of her kerbs and won’t cross, but the instructor said it was just Ushi being Ushi. She noticed that sometimes the harness slides forward, but just to pull back on the handle, and if she crosses my boddy, i can move the handle to the side. I didn’t know the handle could move to the side.


One of the times Ushi stopped, a man helped me. I thought it was our district team manager and was panicking, but thankfully it wasn’t.


The instructor said she was very slightly concerned about Ushi’s weight. I explained what food she was on and how if we have a free run she gets half a milk bone when she comes back. I explained how last year i didn’t cut them out of her food and she went up to 36 kilos. I now take a few handfuls out of her dinner if she has had a free run. That has braught her down to 34 or 35 kilos. My instructor thought i had said 45 kilos which nearly gave me a heart attack! She said that i’m doing all the right things, but maybe if i actually get her to run rather than just sniffing which she is doing on her free runs. She says that this just means she is more settled, and she isn’t getting bored, she is just more settled and contented just to sniff. She says if another dog runs with her it might make her run, and if i bring something to throw it might make her run a bit more. She says that she doesn’t want to change Ushi’s food unless she really has to. I’m to keep her up to date with her weight and then they will decide what food she should be changed to. We don’t want to mess with that if we don’t have to.


I’m so relieved that her weight isn’t as much of a problem as i thought. But i still need to keep an eye on it. The instructor also said that there is no other person who could work with Ushi. So that made me feel like i was the bees knees!


So let’s hope that her weight can go down by a couple more kilos. The instructor said that as long as she is around 33 kilos that would be acceptable. I was so so worried about her weight. I knew i could still feel her ribs, but i was still worried!


So hopefully everything will go on as well as they have for the next year! I hope that she doesn’t have to be switched to another food!


I’m so glad it went well!

The Angel Eyes Northern Ireland Christmas Party

yesterday was the
Angel eyes Northern ireland
christmas party. We were heading to a local ice bowl up in Belfast. We headed up there at about 3 o’clock. Unfortunately one of the parents thought it started at three but it could be rearranged. It actually started at 4.

There was a disco going on downstairs, so thankfully they moved us to the upstairs bit which was quieter. I braught Ushi with me and she loved seeing the balls going down the alley. Her tail never stopped wagging. Although there was one time when the chair person of the Angel eyes committee said i should swing my ball. I swung it quite high, so god knows where it ended up!

After the bowling, it was upstairs to eat. I was a bit worried about this, but to be honest all the kids were tucking in so i had nothing to worry about. It was chicken nuggets and that kind of thing for the kids and sandwiches and tea for us. We then sung jingle bells to make Santa come in. Of course Ushi had to say hi to him. We then got a photo taken with him and selection boxes. One of the chair persons kids was a little shy about going up to get one so i offered her mine but she said it was okay.

We were about to go when the chair persons kids asked if we could go ice skating. I said yes we could go if Ushi had a busy break, but she couldn’t go on the ice for obvious reasons. So the chair person kept a hold of her while i skated. I kept her harness on in case there were any problems and said i would come off the ice if she got stressed, but she was grand! After about an hour and a half she did start to get a little anxious, but they were about to clean the ice anyway so figured that we would head home.

I didn’t bring food with me as i didn’t know we were going ice skating. I should have though as when we got home about 9 o’clock she went straight to bed! I felt a bit bad not giving her her dinner, but she was out cold. i just love how adaptable she is. I still wouldn’t take her to a concert though.

Thanks again to the angel eyes chair person for inviting me and i really enjoyed it. I hope other people enjoyed it too!

Meet Marlie

On Friday mum announced that she had found someone who was giving away a black labrador. I wasn’t too keen on this since mum has a habbit of just seeing the cuteness and then when it comes to the responsibility of a dog, it was us who had to do it. This has been what has happened to our other dogs. So i said to her that she would have to look after it.

When i suggested that i went along to make sure Ushi and the dog got on, she seemed very reluctant. I said that i needed to make sure they were okay rather than it coming all the way here for it to be sent back again. So eventually she agreed.

So this morning mums friend came to collect me, mum, my youngest brother and Ushi. We were heading up to Belfast to get the dog.

When we got there, mums friend went in to check if we could bring Ushi in before we all came in. I first asked if i could let Ushi out to pee so that if there was any excitement there wouldn’t be any little mishaps. While Ushi was out, Marlie came and lay at my feet for a belly rub. When Ushi came back in, i asked if she could be off her lead and the owner said yes. Well Ushi teared around the house, and ran up the stairs, and back down again to play with Marlie. Tails were wagging away so we figured that all was well.

Marlie is a two year old black labrador. Mum thinks there is colly in her too. She is about half the size of Ushi. She is in great condition. She has little short ears, and a big bushy waggy tail! Ushi’s tail is a gentle wag but Marlie’s is really fast and hard! She had pups about a month or so ago. The owner didn’t even know she had had pups, and came down one morning to blood, and thought he had rats! He then saw 5 little bundles. She was very quiet about giving birth and did it all herself. The owners wife was pregnant with her fifth child, so couldn’t cope with the dog as well. She is in great condition, and is fully house trained. We will have to get her latest vaxcinations, worming tablet, frontline and spaying. Mum is getting her microchipped tomorrow, and getting her licenced too. She is going to be spayed after christmas.

The only down side is that she is on wet food. It’s called Winalod or something. Mum is gradually going to introduce dry food with her wet food as she doesn’t really like her on the wet stuff.

Marlie and Ushi were very good travelling in the car together. Marlie did keep looking out the window which Ushi wasn’t too impressed with since she was trying to sleep! She did get a bit panty near the end, but apart from that she was grand. When we filled up Marlie’s waterbowl Ushi decided to empty it before poor Marlie could get a drink! She has never drunk out of that bowl and doesn’t drink her water if it is downstairs. We then let Marlie out for a pee, and Ushi kind of looked at her as if to say “You peed in my garden!”.

They have been getting on great. Ushi has put Marlie in her place though because she wanted to play and Ushi didn’t! So we had a wee growl but she was still wagging away. She did get a bit jealous when Marlie got a nylabone and a new toy!

I have been paying her loads of attention just so she doesn’t feel like she is being left out or anything. She seems to have accepted this grand. I’m sure the jealousy will subside soon enough. She is exhausted though the poor girl.

Already Marlie is looking for Ushi when she needs to pee, and won’t actually go out unless Ushi is there! Whenever people are eating, she’ll take herself out to the hall, and when the front door is opened she’ll just stand there and not even attempt to go out or anything. She is just a great wee bundle.

Here is a picture to finish off. I’m glad they get on so well!
This is little Marlie.

Letter To A Past Me

I recently read a post from
Who talked about writing a letter to her 13 year old self. I thought i’d do something similar but just to my past self in general. It’ll be in no particular order, but it’s something light hearted and sounded like fun. Hope you don’t mind Ro!

Here goes…

Dear past me

I have no idea where to start with this. Hmmm. I’ll just go with the flow and see what happens.

Remember when you were about 8 or 9 you and another boy were going to sing a song together for prize day? It was your first performance, and you were so nervous you ended up bursting in to tears in front of your music teacher. No wait it was on the bus to school. A classroom assistant had to take you round to your music teacher to reassure you though that it would be fine. I bet you didn’t think that later that year you would be performing in the choir, and be in “Joseph and the amazing technicoloured dream coat”? Or that you would keep in the choir and go to compititions and even be in a band later on in secondary school.

Remember when you first visited the what was then the guide dogs centre? You didn’t really understand it back then but had always gone on that when you were 16 you’d apply for a guide dog. I think that day you got a cuddley pup called Willow and a tray.

Remember how quiet you used to be in school? Just look at you now. I bet you’d never think you’d be doing talks and that about guide dogs.

Remember when you first met your rehab worker? Your mum had said it would either be a man or your socialworker but you wanted your socialworker as you were and still are quite fond of her. I still remember the first couple of lessons with him. The first day he talked about canes, and the next time you went to where your socialworker worked. You used a cane with a pencil tip. Your rehab worker had you hold the cane like a motorbike. This was to get you to know the angle of the way to hold the cane. You were so embarrassed. You flew round that building. You found it very scarey though when you went outside. Little did you know then that that same rehab worker would later ask if you wanted a guide dog, and you’d still see him today ocasionally.

Remember when you were in first year of your school? You got a product called a Braille and speak. You thought you had to be taught to use it and you kept using the perkins. Your CD player kept making this weird noise in class one day and one of the boys asked if you had your braille and speak. You thought someone would physically ask you to use it and you wouldn’t use it on your own. If it wasn’t for your R E teacher wanting you to use it you’d probably still be using the perkins.

Remember when you first learnt to touch type? You thought you were the best when you found the two little dots the teacher had put on the F and J keys so you’d find them. You then got speech for your home computer (Supernova), and all you wanted to do was type swear words into it! You later learnt how to use a pedal and tape to do your work that the teacher had recorded onto it.

Remember you wanted to learn the violin? When you played it you sounded like you were strangling the cat! You gave that up about two years later when you got into secondary school as you got bored and didn’t want to practice. You also played the keyboard in the band a few years later, and were in the choir.

That day you were running with your friends and you ran in front of your friend who was guiding you and she cut her knee badly? Well that wasn’t your fault. You blamed yourself for weeks and wouldn’t tell anyone you felt so ashamed. She never blamed you, so why should you? It was a total accident. It was partly the teachers fault too as she was partially sighted and guiding you and the teachers never thought.

When you got bullied, it was really important that you told someone instead of someone finding out because you were quieter than usual or something and you ended up bursting into tears. Thankfully now you’re slightly better and will try to tell people or at least write it down. You hated crying in front of people though and still do. You’re very private with your feelings. But it’s good you’re sharing some of the load now if you need to. You were only bullied because you were friends with these two girls, who had to leave school early since the bullying was very bad for them. Unfortunately you’ve had to lose these friends as you were taken advantage of a little.

Remember the braille reading compititions you used to have to do? You’d have to read braille for 3 minutes or something. And you couldn’t look at the braille until the clock started. They were every three years, but don’t seem to happen now. People of all ages were there. You came second in one of them, and i can’t remember what you won. Think it was a little radio? Unfortunately due to the nerves and all of one compitition, you ended up with a very bad fever because of it. You didn’t feel warm though but unfortunately you ended up having to go to the hospital because you had like a mini seizure. You lost your hearing, and became totally non responsive. Thankfully that doesn’t happen so much now, but you do ocasionally lose your hearing if you stand for too long which panicks you no end.

That little girl you took under your wing when you were in the last two years of secondary school? I think you did a great deal to help her. And you’ll get to meet her again when you’re 22 at a sponsored walk for guide dogs. And she’ll still remember you. She’ll be 12 then and she was only 6 when you first met her.

Remember that little boy you met when you were 13 or 14? He had said he was 13 too. He had ceribral paulzy. When he asked you to come over to his house for tea and when he asked you for sex, you shouldn’t have been quiet. Luckily your parents knew something was wrong and told you to stop seeing him which you did thank god. God knows what he was capable of! Scarey thought.

Remember when you first learnt how to email? You wanted to email everyone you knew because you could, and you thought it was really cool.

Remember how jealous you used to get when you didn’t have a phone and every else did? You’ll get one when you’re 18 and you’ll love it. That first text you sent took you like half an hour to send! Nnow you’re on your second phone, but you don’t want to go near touch screen phones as you like your buttons too much.

Remember that singer you used to like when you were about 12? He was called Declan Galbraith. Wonder does he still sing?

Remember you used to like just recording yourself having a conversation? You used to love playing it back to yourself too.

Remember when you went to see Saragh brightman with your uncle when you were about 9? You sat up to about two o’clock that morning because you couldn’t drink your hot chocolate because you thought it was too hot. You’ll go to Pink concerts years later, and you’ll also go to the Script later this year.

Remember when you wanted to become a social worker? You shouldn’t have let the fact that you had to do your GCSE maths in the college because the teacher at your school didn’t teach you it put you off. Unfortunately you got bored of that idea. You’re probably too caring anyway, so maybe social work wouldn’t be for you. You did volunteer with the Cedar foundation teaching computers, and you really enjoyed that, but unfortunately you didn’t know how to say no. You’re kept busy now with the talks and that you do though but i know you wish you were doing more.

I bet in school you never thought you’d have a guide dog years later. I remember when that was suggested you thought it was crazy. But you stuck with it and you’ve had your dog for two years now.

I suppose i’d better end this now, as i’m over 1 thousand 400 words. It’s amazing what happens when you ramble!

I guess all i’ve got to say is live your life to the full, go for things, and never let your blindness stop you. Take every opportunity that comes your way if you can.

I really enjoyed writing this, and i guess i’ll look back in the future and wonder what made me write this. Thanks Ro for the idea for it!


The me now.